Word of the Week: Scam

Word of the Week: Scam

Stock Market Simulator Investopedia

If you had the chance to invest in the stock market without placing any of your own money up for risk, that would be the ultimate opportunity! Although you're not using real money, simulators and demo accounts provide an important tool to learn about investing in stocks, or trading foreign currency.

Practice, practice, and more practice, in addition to research is the key to learn. If you're interested in learning how to trade stock, you can practice on the Investopedia Stock Market simulator. Have fun!

More Census Sense

Would you like to make more sense out of the census? Jerry Day's video is informative, if you are not sure what exactly you are supposed to answer in the Census Questions. Know your rights according to the 4th amendment!

If you refuse to complete the census survey, they may possibly go to your neighbors and gather personal data about you, in order to complete a survey! The gathering of the GPS coordinates for each home is supposedly for the military. Hmm, yet another concerning point about the census. Yet, those of us who are concerned about those facts, are now referred to as 'paranoid'.

Reduce eBay Listing Fees with Giving Works

Listing merchandise for sale online using sites like eBay is a great way to market your merchandise, but there's always a cost to do so. Part of any business deals with upfront costs in order to unload merchandise, or to offer a service, and listing merchandise on sites such as eBay is no exception.

If you're a seller on eBay, did you know you can reduce your total fees by using Giving Works? Take a look at this article to learn some tips about eBay fees, and how you can reduce your fees by using eBay Giving Works.

Money in the Bible 1 Timothy 6:10

Have you ever taken the time to research how often the word 'money' appears in scriptures within the Bible? The topic of money can be found in the Bible in over 2300 scriptures!

Why is the topic of money so predominate in the Bible?

Money is a primary idol affecting people from all walks of life, causing one to struggle with idolatry from either having too much, or too little.

Does that mean money is a bad thing? It can be, but God also uses money to bless people. However, if a person is in love with money or if it becomes an all-consuming focus, it can destroy many people and relationships, including a persons relationship with God.

Probably one of the most widely used scriptures pertaining to money, which is often misquoted is the scripture 1 Timothy 6:10, which states, "The LOVE of money is the root of all evil." but many mis-quote that scripture to read, "Money is the root of all evil.", which takes on a completely different meaning!

The Bible makes it perfectly clear that God blesses specific individuals with large amounts of money, and/or possessions of significant monetary value. Money in the Bible is also used to demonstrate stewardship issues, and attitudes of the heart. Money isn't the issue, but the love for money is an issue.

Curious about how many times 'money' appears in scriptures? Find out from this money in the Bible video.

Common Census Sense

Here's a quick tip for applying some common sense to the census when they arrive at your home. If you're in the US they'll be knocking on your door soon, and/or calling you! That is, unless you'll be applying the run, duck, and hide strategy - lol.

First off, you are not required to allow them to enter your home. Secondly, remember the census is just that - a head count of how many live at your home, so there's no need to provide more information than that. However, the Census bureau seems to think they have the right to ask you for additional information, which I believe is unconstitutional.

You can find this out for yourself on the Census Bureau's site, which indicates they may ask you for the following additional information:
  • Your household finances
  • What you purchase
  • If you're employed and by whom, and how you commute to work
That's only three examples you can find right off the Census Bureau's website, but remember your constitutional rights! I don't know about you, but those questions sound more like questions asked if you were going to finance a car!

As for me, I'll only be providing the total number in my household such as 1 stuffed dog, a cherub on a lamp, and a cement lady statue - lol. In other words, knowing my rights I'll be applying common census sense! What about you?

Use Your Money to Buy American

You see this everywhere, "Made in China" and find this less, "Made in America". The American lifestyle is slowly quickly losing it's American Pie.

Profit Margins for FarmVille

By now you either are or are not, familiar with, and overtaken by FarmVille. No, not the town, but the farming game that grips you by a pitchfork. Once the tines are in, you find yourself in full swing with a plow, and seeking to turn the fastest profit margin possible.

If you're playing with real money, I hate to tell you this, but you've got it bad! Hopefully you haven't fallen that far into their pay dirt. Okay, I must admit thanks to my Sister, I got into FarmVille this week, so now I'm doing some research in regards to profit margins, but I'm not going to fall for their pay dirt! Free cyber cash and coins is how I've played.

FarmVille profit margins - lol - do we care? If you're playing with real money rather than cyber gold, yeah I suppose you would care. FarmVille is like the old, 'Keep Up with the Jones' routine, where your neighbor tries to out-do your estate. Either way, if the pitchfork tines are pulling you in, you'll want to play with the highest profit margin per week possible, that is if you want to build your farm the fastest way you can.

Without taking any more of your valuable seeding and harvest time, here's a great resource where you can take a look at the best profit margins per week to build it fast, but you'll need to keep your level of achievement in mind when you make your planting plans! Have fun as you seek to build your FarmVille profit margins weekly, and here's yet even more information on the personal economics of FarmVille.

QuiBids and Pinching Your Dollars

Here's a Penny Pincher tip for you today. Have you checked out QuiBids? As the name says it, you bid on merchandise. What makes their site intriguing is the fact that some of the items go for an extremely low bid, and the shipping prices don't seem to be out of line for what it costs to ship things these days. Well, at least that's my first impression by looking at their site. Lets take a look at how your dollars might work on QuiBids.

What makes QuiBids tick, and how can they offer items for such crazy low prices? The answer is in the fine print. If you take a look at QuiBids Terms and Conditions, which you can access from the footer on their site, they make money from bids, and a bidder purchases 'bid packs'.
"Bid Packs and Bid Vouchers expire after one year. Free Bids are only valid until the expiration date stated in the promotion, in general only seven (7) days."
Now, that is not to say it's a bad thing for them to charge for bids, if of course a person is able to acquire great deals. QuiBids Terms and Conditions point out that you are limited to how many items you can win in a day, and over specified periods of time, which make sense from their end. However, keep in mind you could possibly end up spending more on bidding packs than the value of what you win. I'm not speaking from experience, but from my own interpretation of how it might work. Here's what it says about QuiBids bidding restrictions:
"QuiBids limits the number of auctions that you can win in a 28 day period to a maximum of eight. In addition, users may only win or be winning a maximum of three auctions per 24 hour period. QuiBids also limits the number of times users can win an item over $285 in value during a 28 day period to one per item. In addition, users may only win one item over $999.99 in a 28 day period."
This blog post is not a sponsored post, but just my own first impression about QuiBids and how their site works. As always, be sure to read and understand the terms and conditions of a site prior to registering. It looks like it could be an interesting site, that is if you need some merchandise. If not, save your money for more important things in life. Just my .02 worth.

USDA Home Loan Mortgage Programs

Owning a home is part of the all-American dream, but the ability to purchase a home can be difficult for many. The USDA Home Loan program is available for acquiring a home, if the applicant is able to consider purchasing a home in a rural area.

The first requirement of acquiring a USDA Home Loan is of course income. The applicant must have adequate and dependable income, but the income must not exceed the moderate income limit set for the area. The applicant must also have repayment ability based on the following ratios: Principle, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance divided by gross monthly income, which must be equal to or less than 29 percent. Total debt divided by gross monthly income must be equal to, or less than, 41 percent.

Several years ago I met a gal who was able to acquire a mortgage, by using the USDA home loan program, but I had forgotten about it until today when I learned that one of my relatives was approved by the USDA Home Loan program. So, I thought it would be good to share this information here on Money Illusions. I hope this may be of help to you, or someone you know who would like to own part of the American dream.

To determine if you meet the basic eligibility requirements, head on over to the USDA Home Loan site.

Identity Theft Bank Humor

Normally, there isn't anything humorous or funny about identity theft, but this identity theft video is fun to watch. Have fun as you take some time to add some financial humor to your day.

Tax Time Humor and Propaganda

Probably one of the best ways to deal with a stressful subject matter such as taxes, is to find some humor in it. Tax time is here again, so it's time to find some humor about taxes.
The IRS said today anyone with a refund coming from their 2001 taxes will lose it if they don't pick it up by April 15th. If it is more then three years they will just keep it. How come it doesn't work that way with back taxes? -- Jay Leno
Day in and day out, your tax accountant can make or lose you more money than any single person in your life, with the possible exception of your kids. -- Harvey Mackay
The Internal Revenue Code is about 10 times the size of the Bible - and unlike the Bible, contains no good news. -- Don Rickles
America is the land of opportunity... Everyone can become a taxpayer. -- Unknown
One day while waiting in the line to pay for my automobile license tabs tax, those of us in line overheard the voice of an angry immigrant standing at the counter, "But why is it so much more than last year?" the immigrant explained loudly, in broken English. I then hollered, "Welcome to America - the land of the free, and taxed heavily!"